(LOS ANGELES) — Phillip Phillips was crowned the season 11 American Idol champion on Wednesday night’s results show. More than 132 million votes came in after Tuesday’s performance show — a new Idol record. Jessica Sanchez is this season’s runner up. Phillip was overcome with emotion performing his winner’s song “Home” as the show ended.
Before the results were revealed, Jessica and Phillip sang the Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes duet “Up Where We Belong.”
The top 12, minus Jessica and Phillip, opened the show with a group performance of Bruno Mars’ “Runaway Baby.” Phillip teamed up with John Fogerty to sing Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Have You Ever Seen the Rain,” which he performed earlier in the season. They followed it up with the CCR staple “Bad Moon Rising.”
Jessica later revisited Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You,” the song she first made a big impact with earlier in the season. She returned for a real show-stopping performance of “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” from Dreamgirls with the woman who sang it originally on Broadway, Jennifer Holliday.
Joshua Ledet teamed up with Fantasia for a duet on the early Elton John song “Take Me to the Pilot.” Joshua was called “Mantasia” for most of the season, so this duet was a big moment for Idol fans.
The ladies of the top 12 sang Chaka Khan’s “Ain’t Nobody” and “Through the Fire” before Chaka joined them on “I’m Every Woman.” The guys of the top 12 sang Neil Diamond’s “America,” “Cracklin’ Rosie” and “I’m a Believer” before Neil joined them for “Sweet Caroline.”
The top 12 also poked fun at judge Randy Jackson’s overused phrase about good singers being able to sing the phone book by actually singing the phone book in a funny skit.
In tribute to the late Robin Gibb, the top 12 guys sang a Bee Gees medley that included “Words,” “How Deep Is Your Love,” “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” and “To Love Somebody.”
Rihanna emerged out of a box onto a smoke-filled stage to perform “Where Have You Been.” It was a high production number with dancers and lasers accentuating Rihanna’s latest hit.
Skylar Laine teamed up with country icon Reba for a collaboration on her #1 hit “Turn Up the Radio.” Hollie Cavanagh was joined by Jordin Sparks for a duet on the show tune “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”
Judge Jennifer Lopez turned in a performance of “Goin’ In” from the upcoming movie Step Up Revolution and “Follow the Leader” featuring Wishin & Yandel. Of course, Jennifer was backed up by a big team of dancers.
Judge Steven Tyler performed with Aerosmith towards the end of the night too. They sang their new song “Legendary Child” before going into “Walk this Way.”
As part of the show, Ford presented new Escapes to Phillip’s musical mentor, his brother-in-law Ben Neil and Jessica’s mentor Robert Talon. Phillip and Jessica also got new 2013 Ford Fusions too.
Several stars were spotted in the crowd, including former Idol champ Carrie Underwood and Jane Lynch of Glee. Lauren Alaina and Taylor Hicks were there too.
Idol alums and real-life couple Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo actually got engaged on the show. Ace dropped to one kneeand presented her the ring, and Diana nodded yes before they shared a big kiss. Ryan held the ring’s box as Ace slipped it on Diana’s finger.
Preparations for American Idol‘s 12th season are already underway. Auditions for next season start in Los Angeles at Dodgers Stadium on June 7.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jim Bennett, Deseret News
Jim Bennett, Deseret News